By on October 29, 2010


I’ve always had a thing about long front overhangs, and not in a positive way. My idea of proper front end proportions runs more to this. On the other end of the scale, this big-nosed 1981 Cadillac Eldorado Pierre Cardin (for sale at Hemmings) is pretty impressive just for the sheer audacity of extending the already longish stock Eldo nose. So now, in addition to just raving over this driveway ramp scraper, can you top it?

Keep in mind, what we’re looking for is the greatest disproportionate overhang in front of the wheels in relation to the rest of the “hood area” behind the front wheels. And the most unbalanced, ugly and useless. AND: I’ve just decided that mid and rear-engined cars don’t qualify. Sorry

Submit a link, or just the name and model, and I’ll fish it out and we’ll post them, either here on a new post this weekend. Happy hunting. (Updated with submission pics below).

1970 Plymouth Superbird

Ford Nucleon (not a real competitor, for your entertainment only; between the nuclear propulsion system and the absurd overhang, this was a pipe dream only).

2000 Camaro

Aston Martin Lagonda

Continental Mark V

Bentley Continental GT

Toyota van

1972 Mercury Montego

1991 Imperial

Audi 100 (C4)

LTD II (same body as Montego)

Corvorado

CRZ (sumbitted by PN)

Gremlin (submitted by PN)

Peugeot 508 (submitted by PN)

Peugeot 407 Coupe

1974 AMC Matador Coupe

Continental Mk IV

Jaguar XK-E

Saab Sonnett

Bricklin SV1

Isuzu Impulse

Shelby GT 500

Citroen DS

Matador sedan

’66 Toronado

Mitsubishi Lancer

Honda Accord

Chevy Volt

’79 Trans Am

Audi Sport Quattro

Jaguar XJS

Olds Aurora

Bugazzi

Acura ZDX

Cadillac STS

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82 Comments on “Longest Useless Front Overhang Ever? Can You Top It? (Updated With Submission Pictures)...”


  • avatar
    Zammy

    I can beat that.

    Ferrari Mythos

    And then I can beat *that*.

    Ford Nucleon
     

    • 0 avatar
      Paul Niedermeyer

      The Nucleon is impressive, but I’m going to have to amend the rules to cars that were actually built, at least in small quantities. The Mythos just qualifies.

    • 0 avatar
      Zammy

      Well, since the Caddy above is customized, how about this Lincoln:
      http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2326/2516036663_09c43e2433_b.jpg

      And although it was never a real car, the Mach V has a special place in my heart:
      http://www.plazastudios.net/museum/Images/Auto/Speed%20Racer%20MachV/Speed_Racer_MACH-V-00-m.JPG

    • 0 avatar
      akitadog

      A Ferrari that certainly went into production would be the Enzo. That snout looks like an aardvark.

    • 0 avatar
      Paul Niedermeyer

      Zammy; 100 of the Pierre Cardin Eldorados were built. But I’ll put up a photo of the Mark V.

    • 0 avatar
      Thinx

      I see you already have the Aston Martin Lagonda that came to my mind when I saw the title of this article – it is quite overhung, if you will pardon the expression – but does not appear as disproportionate as some of the others.  It was a long low car, and with the wheelbase and the rear overhang, it seemed reasonably balanced.
      William Towns (who designed the AML) had a bit of a fetish for front overhangs – I have never seen a picture of him, but I always imagined him as one of those insufferable English blokes with a pointy nose and an overbite – mainly because of his cars.  He really seemed to indulge his inner rhinophilia with the Aston Martin Bulldog.

  • avatar
    twotone

    Does 3M make a Wonder Bra for cars?

  • avatar
    supremebrougham

    Did you ever see Red Green’s Exotic Luxury car???
     
    <object width=”480″ height=”385″><param name=”movie” value=”http://www.youtube.com/v/fh5XVPSx9Dk?fs=1&amp;hl=en_US”></param><param name=”allowFullScreen” value=”true”></param><param name=”allowscriptaccess” value=”always”></param><embed src=”http://www.youtube.com/v/fh5XVPSx9Dk?fs=1&amp;hl=en_US” type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” allowscriptaccess=”always” allowfullscreen=”true” width=”480″ height=”385″></embed></object>

  • avatar
    mcs

    The Plymouth Superbird:
    http://www.chooseyouritem.com/classics/files/150000/150016.html

  • avatar

    I owned a 2000 Camaro and always had to watch for speed bumps and curbs. The worst danger was crossing sharply crowned roads. The problem with this Camaro was a combination of its long front overhang and minimal ground clearance.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/8490341@N04/2658858385/

  • avatar
    gslippy

    Long front overhang with a purpose: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xkWY6VDAFfM

  • avatar
    Nick

    Aston Martin Lagonda?

  • avatar
    Jimal

    When Pontiac became the Official Vehicle of the NHRA, they were allowed to take certain liberties with the Firebird they used in Pro Stock. In addition to being granted carbon fiber bodies (as opposed to earlier cars being required to retain stock or stock-based steel roofs and quarter panels) the beaks on these Firebirds started getting more and more exaggerated. IIRC the NHRA finally settled on a limit of 56 inches from the centerline of the front wheels to the point of the nose. This was a full 16 inches longer than the limit set years earlier for Funny Cars.

  • avatar
    obbop

    I still sob from time-to-time as I recall the opportunity to buy a Superbird back in 1975, for $1,800.
    Living aboard a warship I had no place to store it and the monthly cost to store it in a protected, sheltered locale during multi-month treks overseas was prohibitive at the minimal pay rates for USA military back then.
    Sniff.  Sigh.  Sob.
    I instinctively knew the value was destined to rise and rise it did.
    I would have bought it if only I had a place to store it.
    What a “boss” car it was/is/will be!!!!!!
    I also lusted after the CHERRY immaculate oh-so-fine 1971 ‘Cuda, 4-speed, 440 6-pack-type carb (foreget the exact nomenclature used by Plymouth for their 3×2 carb set-up on the 440) that just happened to be a convertible.
    Sniff.
    The immaculate car sat there for several weeks in 1975 with $2,800 soaped or whatever upon the windshield.
    Close inspection showed the finish and interior to be flawless as far as I could tell and the engine compartment looked like new.
    The owner bragged of how well it had been cared for and never abused; an older owner, not a kid. And the mileage was surprisingly low though I can not recall the exact figure.
    Double sniff.
    Heck, I would even be tickled to still own the 1972 Plymouth Duster I eventually bought for a few hundred bucks with the slant-6 and the grandpa-like 3-on-the-tree.
    Sniff.
     

    • 0 avatar
      porschespeed

      0bbop.
       
      It was ’78 for me and the Superbird was a 440 4-spd advertised on the local grocery store ‘for sale’ board.
       
      Only $1750 OBO, but it was a bit rougher than your lost opp. As a 12-ish year old at the time, I figured the new motorcycle was far more practical and usable (I lived where I could sort of use either at that age, but the m/c was more practical off road. Regarless of Bo & Luke propaganda to the contrary….)
       
      Besides, who would ever want one of those primitive POSs in a few years….
       
      Ahh. The errors of our youth and all that….
       
       

    • 0 avatar

      I was there too. I didn’t want to trade my 300L on the 70 Superbird that the dealer wanted $2800 for. I didn’t follow up on the 4-speed rustfree California 70 Road Runner convertible at $1800, because the seller was reluctant to let me drive it.
      On the other end of that scale, there was the 70 Barracuda from Vermont, whose entire nose shook like crazy whenever it hit an expansion joint and whose Torqueflite was slipping bad. Even the Rally wheels were too rusty. Coulda had it for $500 though….

  • avatar
    Go Organic - use fossil fuel

    I give you the (leg crusher) Toyota van circa 1980’s…
     
    http://memimage.cardomain.com/ride_images/3/2199/3021/30496510002_large.jpg

  • avatar
    MadHungarian

    How does that Eldo’s overhang actually compare to a stock Mark IV?  The Mark IV is the only car I have ever driven and decided not to buy because it was too big.  Not overall, but too big in front; it feels like one is driving from the back seat.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    The current Bentley Continental GT measures over 3 feet from the front spindles to the license plate. It is almost like some idiot hung a 12 cylinder engine ahead of the front axle.

    • 0 avatar
      Ingvar

      Whaddya mean, “almost”? It is like some idiot hung a 12 cylinder ahead of the front axle.

      I’ve always been fascinated with the pre-war DKW dna being brought forward to this day and age, through DKW, Auto-Union, Audi, and now Bentley. Front wheel drive, longitudinal engine in front of the front wheels, the lineage is clear. Strange bedfellows indeed….

    • 0 avatar
      thebeelzebubtrigger

      @Ingvar:
      Whoosh!  :)
       
       

  • avatar
    akitadog

    A long front overhang, proportional to its overall length, would be the Porsche 911. From the profile view, it looks like it shares front AND rear overhangs with the Buick GNX.

  • avatar
    kansei

    Yeah I could never understand that about the Porsche. there’s no engine up there, why so long?
     
    Front overhang makes me sick. Nearly every production FWD car has absolutely miserable front overhang, as well as any AWD car based on a FWD platform of course. Even my longitudinally-mounted engine RWD MX-5 has a bit too much, but it has a nice long space between the front wheels and the front door so I’ll allow it.
     
    Notable offenders:
    Mitsubishi Lancer: http://www.japanesesportcars.com/photos/d/54807-2/2010-mitsubishi-lancer-sportback-gts+_2_.jpg
     
    Toyota Corolla: http://image.motortrend.com/f/auto-news/toyota-to-address-consumer-complaints-for-rav4-corolla-and-matrix/33858549+w527+st0/2010-toyota-corolla-side-view.jpg
    Honda Accord: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/__nK5eqVEjqs/SY7mn4TkGwI/AAAAAAAAAhc/S_GYAofWLPI/s400/2010-Honda-Accord-08802041990004.jpg
     
    It’s as if car designers have been locked up in a cage somewhere and replaced by penny pinchers. Miserable cars all of those above.
     
    There is hope though:
    look how nicely far forward the MX-5 front wheels are (hence it being a mid-engined car): http://pictures.topspeed.com/IMG/crop/200609/2006-mazda-mx-5-miata-15_460x0w.jpg
     
    BMW seems to understand good proportions as well (aside from the 1-series)

  • avatar
    grzydj

    Some of these Japanese cabover vans, like the Toyota pictured here have some pretty crazy front overhang, especially considering how short the wheelbase is to begin with.
     
    http://cache.gawkerassets.com/assets/images/12/2010/07/500x_npocpwart.jpg
     

  • avatar
    DearS

    180sx had a nice yet longish front overhang.
    http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c75/bitch407/summerphotoshoot2008134.jpg
    6 series over hand was ok too.
    http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q267/jshickman/635csi/IMG_0998.jpg
     
    Enzo and Maranello.
    http://motor_racing.getpaidfrom.us/files/2008/04/ferrari-novitec-rosso-enzo-9.jpg
    http://www.classicallycoolcars.com/wp-content/themes/NicheProfitPressV2/images/Ferrari-550%20Maranello.jpg
     
     

  • avatar

    The Enzo: http://www.google.com/images?q=enzo – yes it has an MR layout, but still.

  • avatar
    Roberto Esponja

    1972 Mercury Montego:
    http://www.glennmcdonald.com/images/Cars/1973%20Mercury%20Montego%20-%20Linda%27s%201st%20car,%20Glenn%20learned%20to%20drive%20on.JPG

  • avatar

    The circa 1990 Chrysler Imperial. Iacocca created an extra-long car the cheap way:

    http://www.imperialclub.com/Yr/1990/danieltopping/90Imperial6.jpg

  • avatar
    mcs

    The Corvarado:
    http://www.rrrclc.org/images2/73_Hogan_Corvarado%20(2).jpg

  • avatar
    Ingvar

    The C4 Audi 100. It always looked like it was to tip over any minute…

    http://digit-8.com/wp-content/gallery/Audis/1993%20Audi%20100.gif

  • avatar
    Jason

    My uncle owned a Ford LTD II when I was a kid.  It looked like a large boat resting on a tiny trailer.
     
    http://lh4.ggpht.com/_C-WKFGqLW8s/RtyREQjuDwI/AAAAAAAAANY/36VsrmStnV0/s912/P200%20DSC07580.JPG

  • avatar
    PeriSoft

    The example car looks like it should belong to Cyrano de Bergerac…

  • avatar
    MikePDX

    Totally unqualified for this contest, with its Ford V8 in the back and all, but if you had an award for the longest front overhang in any real car, one that actually drove on real streets, then surely Bucky Fuller’s Dymaxion car leads them all. Not useless overhang, that’s a mortal sin in Bucky’s ethic.
    http://www.e-architect.co.uk/images/jpgs/exhibitions/dymaxion_car_i030910.jpg
    It’s been in the news: http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/2010/oct/05/norman-foster-dymaxion-buckminster-fuller
    –Mike
     

  • avatar
    Flipper

    Citroen DS
    http://www.switchimage.org/phlog/Images_va_081001/Phlog_Citroen_DS_DSC03408.jpg

    ’69 shelby
    http://www.ritzsite.nl/Shelby-Mustang/1969_Ford_Shelby_Mustang_GT-350_fastback_f3q.JPG

    Isuzu Impulse
    http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/3/2121/3541/30301770078_large.jpg

    Bricklin SV1
    http://img1.classistatic.com/cps/po/100422/764r5/9073eel_27.jpeg

    And lastly the SAAB Sonnet
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d8/SAAB-Sonett-mk3.jpg/800px-SAAB-Sonett-mk3.jpg

  • avatar

    I’ve always thought that the Lister Jaguar and other ’50s vintage Listers had pretty big schnozzes.
     
    http://www.britishracecar.com/SydSilverman-Lister-Jaguar/SydSilverman-Lister-Jaguar-BC2.jpg
    http://kitspeed.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/b011.jpg
     
    Though the extended front ends were thought to be more aerodynamic, Jim Hall discovered with the first Chaparral that those long front ends actually created lift.

    • 0 avatar
      Paul Niedermeyer

      Pure racing cars are disqualified. I’ll put up the XKE, but note that the relative amount of overhang to the rest of that very long hood is actually fairly modest. The point of this exercise is to find cars with the worst relationship of overhang to total hood length. The Listers don’t do well on that account either.

    • 0 avatar

      With the E-type (aka XKE) the nose is mostly air, and a bit of radiator, as the engine is actually well aft of the front axle.

  • avatar

    Like the Listers, the Jaguar E-Type had a bit of an overhang too.
     
     
    http://www.rokemneedlearts.com/images/jaguarcheetah.jpg

  • avatar
    Slowtege

    Let us not forget Saturn! 1st or 2nd gen SL sedan, SC coupe, and L sedan series later on all with unnecessarily long overhangs. Why? Audis have long noses but that’s because they stick engines longitudinally ahead of the front axle, plus they hide it with good design and proportioning of visual elements (headlights, lower grill openings, creases to take visual distance away). Anyway, ya, Saturns, not as proportionally pleasing as we would have liked.

  • avatar
    porschespeed

    DiNapoli or Excalibur anyone?
     
    Ronnie, I think you are spot-on with an E-Type reference. While they remain some of the sexiest cars ever IMHO, they had a Celine Dion-esque schnoz-ratio.
     
    (Sadly, it works for the Jag, but it doesn’t for Dion, nor Sarah Jessica Parker….)

    • 0 avatar
      Paul Niedermeyer

      The DiNapoli and Excalibur had very short front overhangs. By overhang, I don’t mean total hood length; just the part in front of the front wheels.

    • 0 avatar
      porschespeed

      Paul,
       
      You are completely correct in terms of overhang. They were miles from an XK-E.
       
      I guess I just brought them up as a ‘Family Guy’ subreference. Or something. Anywho, they are most certainly non-overhangy compared to my my other examples.
       
      Aston Martin Lagonda anyone?

  • avatar
    porschespeed

    Oh yeah.
     
    How ’bout the 74-78 (IRRC) AMC Matador. the ugliest POS ever foisted upon the American public. Ever. Without fail or exception. Even early/mid 70s Chevy 4doors are sleek, sexy, and Euro in comparison.
     
    My god, who thought that visual abortion (being generous) would sell. Wow…

  • avatar
    Wagen

    Can’t top anything that’s already been submitted, but I have to say it boggles my mind why a front-engine, rear-drive car would have a large front overhang (see previous gen camaro for egregious example).  Since there are no packaging issues as in a front-drive car with a transversely-mounted engine, why not push the wheels to the edge of the front and put the engine as far rearward as possible for better handling?

  • avatar
    martin schwoerer

    Such a list would be incomplete without the Peugeot 407, in particular the 407 Coupé
    http://www.tuningnews.net/news/080123b/peugeot-407-coupe-bellagio.jpg

  • avatar
    Zarba

    Sheesh.  Give it up for The King of RWD front overhang…The Lincoln Mark IV

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:73MarkIV.jpg

  • avatar
    newfdawg

    The 1969 Pontiac Firebird-or probably any Firebird for that matter.

  • avatar

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:BMW_CS.jpg
    BMW CS concept. and I thought Bimmers couldn’t get any more bloated.

  • avatar
    Dr Lemming

    When AMC redesigned its Matador two-door coupe in 1974 it decided to penny pinch on its sedans by giving them an extended grille and bumper but not lengthening the fenders.  The result was a Jimmy Durante-style front end that is still iconic in its ugliness.  One irony is that AMC’s mid-sized platform in earlier iterations had an unusually compact front end design.  Consider, for example, the snout-nosed 1967-70 Rebel.  However, the biggest contrast was with the 1963 Rambler Classic, which offered mid-sized interior room even though the car was only 190 inches long (shorter than a compact Dodge Dart).  Even more ironic:  AMC was bloating out in the mid-70s just as efficient design was regaining popularity due to the oil embargo. No wonder they went out of business.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    How about the last of the “big” Chryslers, the ’79-’81 Newport and New Yorker?  They were another missed opportunity for Chrysler. They lopped over 1,000 lbs from their ’70s monsters, as GM did with its Impala, but then extended the car both front and rear to make it look bigger and more fuel-thirsty, and the lean burn didn’t help. What could have sold as an upscale Impala (and competed with it in the Dodge St.Regis) instead helped nearly kill the company.

  • avatar
    Rusted Source

    I was going to say current Mitsu Lancer, but someone else here already noted that madness.

  • avatar
    probert

    The 66 toronado (667 eldorado)  – beautiful and monstrous.  Nice overhang but how else are you going to contain the pneumatically actuated headlights.
     
    http://www.toronado.org/Features/Kirkland_2005/index.htm

  • avatar
    tklockau

    The forthcoming Chevy Volt has a really long overhang for such a small car.

    My grandparents had a ’77 dark green LTD II, and I know it has a long overhang, but I always liked that car. I haven’t seen any of those in years, unless you count the LTD II-based Ranchero, which still turn up at the local car cruises.

  • avatar
    Darth Lefty

    Subarus with optional six cylinder engines, and Audis with in-line engines, have the entire engine sticking ahead of the front axles, like a Porsche going backwards.  They manage to hide it pretty well with a very rounded bow, so the fenders don’t seem to go nearly as far forward as the bow.  Especially obvious on smaller versions like an SVX or an RS4.  But if 1970’s square styling ever comes back they are screwed.
     
    I guess this doesn’t qualify as “useless” but man, overhang!  Look at the original Quattro with the straight five and the US bumpers.  Nose to wheel arch, two feet; wheel arch to door, two inches.

  • avatar
    BuzzDog

    Ah the Gen4 Camaro (1993 – 2002).
     
    I’ve never seen this information anywhere else – so I cast doubts upon its credibility – but about 15 years ago I had a Car and Driver desk calendar that blamed the awkwardness of the Gen4 F-platform’s proportions on a body design that was intended for a longer wheelbase. The caption stated that GM couldn’t afford to stretch or design a platform to the wheelbase length intended for the original design, so the designers were basically instructed to “make it fit.”
     
    Has anyone else ever heard that tale, or been able to verify it from a reliable source?

  • avatar

    The Continental is on there? Wtf? Why not the F430 (and Enzo), then? And 911?

  • avatar

    Ironically the R8 has the biggest Audi hang

  • avatar

    Mercedes built a transporter for their 300SLR race cars. This rig was long and low and the entire cab was in front of the front wheels. Again, this probably doesn’t exactly qualify as _useless_ overhang.

  • avatar
    Ian Anderson

    I think any FWD Northstar Cadillac would fit here. The Seville/STS really seem to amplify the effect though.

    http://www.netcarshow.com/cadillac/2000-seville_sts/800×600/wallpaper_02.htm

    Still look good to me though.

  • avatar
    Opus

    Acura ZDX
    http://www.acura.com/PhotoGallery.aspx?model=ZDX&modelYear=2010&context=photos-videos#/image13

    To go with the CR-Z.

  • avatar
    H Man

    No mention of the Bugazzi?   It’s been on TTAC before…
     
    http://blog.niot.net/blog-images/find-of-the-day-barris-built-1972-lincoln-bugazzi-has-interior.jpg

  • avatar
    OliverTwist

    I have never understood the need to mount the motor ahead of transaxle in the transverse-mount configuration. This only causes the severe “overbite” in many front-drive medium and large cars. My 1986 Chevrolet Celebrity 2.8 (which had endured so much abuse and neglect from me before exacting the revenge on me one day) suffered the severe understeer and schizophrenic weight transfer during the heavy braking and hard turns.

    I have yet to see the transverse-mounted front-drive car with motor and transaxle turned round and front wheels moved closer to the front. That would improve the balance and the appearance. The closest would be Mercedes-Benz A- and B-Class cars. However, the motors are tilted about 45 degree over the transaxle to the front, the configuration that, in my criteria, has been effectively disqualified.

    Can anyone explain to me why has no manufacturer in the past forty years ever consider this configuration? It seems a no-brain solution…

    • 0 avatar
      KitaIkki

      +1
      There have been some French FWD cars with longitudinal engines behind the front axle (Citroen, Renault).  But as far as I know, no one has done a transverse engine that way.  I agree it should be a no brainer, especially for “sporty” FWD cars that doesn’t care much about space utilization, something like the Altima coupe.   Many advantages besides weight distribution:  Aerodynamics.  Pedestrian friendliness.  Styling.
      Another unorthodox layout would be the same transverse behind-the-axle powertrain moved to the back, for a space efficient rear-engine, RWD design.
       
       
       
       

    • 0 avatar
      probert

      @KitaIkki:  “Another unorthodox layout would be the same transverse behind-the-axle powertrain moved to the back, for a space efficient rear-engine, RWD design.

      This is how toyota did it with the mk1  mr2. (midengine)

    • 0 avatar
      KitaIkki

      @probert,
      No.  The MR2, like the FIAT X1/9 and Pontiac Fiero, is a conventional budget mid-engine car, done by moving a conventional, transverse, ahead of axle FWD power train to the back.  What I meant was taking a behind-the-axle transverse FWD power train (like OliverTwist suggested) and move it to the back.  This will result in a rear-engine, not mid-engine design, with room for 6 people and still a reason amount of trunk space.

  • avatar
    akitadog

    I know this is a late entry, but the 1st gen Oldsmobile Aurora fits right in.

  • avatar
    porschespeed

    If we are including the LTD II, let’s throw in the 77-79 Thunderchicken.

    And Lincoln Mark V…

  • avatar
    antonpetrv

    BMW Nazca C2

    http://www.yoangames.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/BMW_Nazca_C2-3.jpg


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